This is the month where you have to put on your thinking cap and decide how you are going to use up all those crops that are coming thick and fast - courgettes, runner and french beans and summer squash - to name but a few. This is my harvest for the last week. When you pick one or two things everyday it soon mounts up and when I unloaded the salad drawer of the fridge I was astonished at just how many beans and courgettes I had picked.
But not everything in the garden is rosy. I have had my failures too.
Due to the hot, dry weather – lettuce, spinach and chard have bolted and gone to seed – even though I have watered them every evening.
And worst of all, the Romanesco cauliflowers have done the same – a big disappointment, I was really looking forward to tasting these again this year.
I’m not counting tomatoes as a failure yet, even though I am a bit disappointed that not many have ripened yet, that’s just me being impatient, but the fact that they have been slow to set. The ones pictured are Marmande, as ugly as ever, with only two trusses on the plants, which haven’t even reached the top of their canes yet.
One of the successes have been the onions, which after a slow start are all a fair size, and they have now been pulled and are drying on racks.
Another success is the chilli plant, I only have one, but as you can see, it has produced more than enough chillis for one household.
And, surprise, surprise – I have sweet peppers. They weren’t doing very well at all in the greenhouse, so I planted them outside and told them they would just have to take their chances. And they did. Look.
And as for the outdoor cucumbers, well, they are way behind those in the greenhouse – but at least they are producing fruits, although the slugs seem to have taken a fancy to them.
Now for the Homegrown Revolution bit. I bought three types of James Wongs’ seeds. Inca Berries which were immediately devoured by the greenhouse snail, Cucamelons and Tomatillo. The trouble is when you are growing something that is new to you, you aren’t sure what to expect. This is the Cucamelon plant.
It has grown huge and has practically taken over the back of the greenhouse, linking its tendrils to anything it can find to support it, but if you look closely you can see the fruits forming, here is a closer look.
The plant was really weak and spindly for ages and I didn’t think it would make it, but boy look at it now. Now we just have to wait and see if the fruit lives up to expectation. The other survivors are the Tomatillo plants, something else I haven’t grown before. The fruits are hidden inside paper cases, a little like chinese lanterns, they have grown really tall and are full of flower, so I am hopeful of a good harvest.
So that’s me up to date – I have done another round of sowing; salad leaves, french beans, chard and carrots so far – oh and I’ve dug up a row of potatoes, Charlotte, and from five plants I have a bucketful of potatoes. I’m really quite pleased with the results.
And just to finish off I though I would show you a charity shop find which I’m dead chuffed with
Not bad eh. A lovely chopping board for herbs in solid wood with a nifty chopper as well, can’t be bad for £3.00.
What have your successes and failures been this year?